Busy game session - we got a lot done in this one. I probably missed stuff in the summary - details, mostly.
"Hillbilly" (me) - medical specialist
"Short Bus" (Mike D) - computer programmer
"Fatbox" (John M) - demo/EOD
"Momma's Boy" (Tom P) - computer programmer
"Love Handles" (Vic L) - demo/EOD
Present but NPC'ed:
"Caveman" (Jon L) - demo/EOD (back at Bal'Kree)
"Barbie" (Mike H) - demo/EOD (MIA)
"Princess" (Andy D) - cryptographer/sniper (with us but NPC'd)
We started out in 12.7MM, with Mr. Mike Mike himself. He gave us a "sweep and clear" mission - go into the tunnels, wipe out the killer bugs, and clear the tracks so he can get back to bribing Yexil with fabrics.
He also mentioned how one of his bots had been sent down and was missing, which we didn't hear at all. This gets funnier later.
Fatbox's player was late, so we left him (and Princess) with Mike Mike. Presumably he was so getting some license plate lorica segmentata made that he didn't want to come with us. Also, he was still badly injured from previous fighting and needed time to recover. We bulked out the group with Momma's Boy and Love Handles.
We went down into the tunnels and took the train car around what we later called "Tunnel A." Three watched the front while Hillbilly kept an eye on the back with his new mutant super-power mild dark vision.
In short order, we passed a small side tunnel and out poured four of the beetles. We swapped sides - Hillbilly went to watch the back, and the others went to the back to engage the beetles. There was a short, sharp fight as the bugs charged in. Momma's Boy swept across them with his Mark 48 to draw them in and then Love Handles and Short Bus shot them up close in. Short Bus generally uses a shield and pistol (he's got into the whole post-apoc thing) and Love Handles used his M-14. They blasted apart the bugs, but not before they took some slams, Love Handles was sprayed with acid (and his M-14 barrel gutted), and Momma's Boy had to jump in and blow a dozen rounds right through one bug with a 4 (he rolled 7 or less for most of his early rolls.)
In the end they were down, but Love Handles was hurt and his gun too damaged to use. Momma's Boy had a spare 4.6mm PDW (we joked he'd standardized around three different types of ammo) and loaned that to LH.
We set back up and kept going, finding a series of side tunnels. We moved into them, and found some small tunnels (we'd need to crouch) and some larger ones (big beetle sized.) We stuck to the big ones and cleaned them out of beetles in a couple more fights (we had a number of them, so they started to blur together.) Generally we did three up / one back - one guy in back, watching the back, and three up front moving and shooting from close in.
In the end, we'd cleared out a lot of the "kidney shaped" rooms and the bugs, but didn't want to check all of the side passages. We headed down the main tunnel with our train car, and saw some alcoves with loose dirt in them. Hmm. Eventually we saw an alcove with a Suessian plant in it with a glowing head-sized top above some fronds. It was glowing orange. Someone Hillbilly convinced Momma's Boy to talk to it. In return, it blasted use with radiation and injured Momma's Boy. So we shot it up. The rounds seemed to hit and it disappeared. Er, teleported?
We found the end of the passage and it was blocked by rubble. We passed through the gaps and walked for 10 minutes and it was clear, so we headed back. No more bugs, So we headed back up to Mike Mike.
Mission accomplished, right?
Mike Mike said, "You cleaned out all of the bugs?"
"And what about my lost bot?"
"See, that's why we came up to give you this preliminary report and grab a couple of beers, and get Fatbox. We're going back down now to get the bot."
Great save by Love Handles.
We went back down.
This time, we killed more beetles, daring the smaller side passages.
We ran into another plant (okay, Hillbilly says it's the same plant) in one of the rooms. It was glowing green, and before Love Handles could shoot he was blasted with green radiation. He went down in terrible pain. We shot back at the plant (actual, LH may have simultaneously shot it). Then six beetles showed up and we had a brutal short-ranged fight. LH jabbed himself with a silver injector to get back into the fight.
Fatbox was injured by acid again, Hillbilly did some actual shooting (and managed to hit and kill a couple of bugs, yes, Doug, on full auto), and he even collected some brass to assuage the spirit of Caveman.
After clearing them out, we found a torn-up bot. Actually, we heard it first - we heard some George Thorogood music. We had no trouble finding it. It was playing a "this unit needs recharge" type message, and half the room was smoked black. It had a pair of grenades, too, which Momma's Boy appropriated.
Hillbilly strapped the robot to his back, and Momma's Boy made Wookie noises because that's his job. The we headed out and headed back. The trip back was uneventful.
In the end, Momma's Boy traded some of our valuable old porn to Mike Mike for the grenades (plasma grenades) and more information. Mike Mike also gave us each a duralloy plate for our armor. He'll also teach Fatbox some of his manufacturing skills. Mike Mike isn't long for the world, so we'll learn what we can.
We headed back to Bal'Kree and had a chat with the other 20th Homeland survivors. Fatbox took the lead and gave them the whole lecture about being on there own and what was advisable. We filled them in on Mike Mike. Hillbilly gave them a lecture about only trading information to our Restorationist buddy, not giving it, and selling it dear. His logic is that one religious-seeming history fanatic means a group of them, and we should sell our information dearly to such a group. Get more than we give because what they give can be gotten elsewhere, and what we sell is priceless.
We also talked plans for the future. In the end it turns out they're going to set up a Forward Operating Base, which we named "FOB-SWB" ("fob-swib"). That's Fatbox - "It has to be something with boobs in it!" and Hillbilly "Okay, FOB Something With Boobs.
We spent a few days in Bal'Kree, burning anti-rad injectors on Love Handles while he scarfed down anti-rad mushroom mix provided by our humble hosts.
During the respite in Bal'Kree, Hillbilly noticed that where he'd jabbed himself with the silver had a rash. Despite Diagnosis-14 he couldn't ID it as more than a rash. Within a few days, though, he seemed to be developing flexible sub-dermal armor. Neat!
LH also started to show some signs of change. He started to get heavier. Not clear if this meant weight, size, or both - I think just weight.
We took Softie the Warbot out for a spin, and headed to the Triumvirate. First we hiked to the river on the 20 mile long elevated highway section, and had Softie meet us - one run-in with a low fly over Zeeth was enough.
We traveled up a river, then spent 30 hours or so finding a nearby river - it's hard since Softie can't clear 10 meters off the ground. Eventually we made it to the river, seeing all sorts of weird plants and animals. It's turned from "green" season to "red" season, and our Clown Vomit camo came in handy.
We moved up the river, sleeping in shifts. Eventually off in the distance we saw a gigantic tower (like, 1500 feet tall) near the river. Near it were two smaller towers on either side, and four black dots. We stopped and had Princess (remember Princess?) check it out with his scope. Sure enough, there was a chain net with four bird-men (tengu, basically) hanging in it. We debated an underwater approach but decided it was better to see. We debated killing them but Hillbilly refused to hear about that unless we had a plan to engage with everyone all at once. No one had one, so we flew up close and low and had LH popped out to talk. The bird-men were surprised (we're partly cloaked) but friendly. LH, Hillbilly, and MB got out. Through gesture we traded food (they had mango-sugary treats, we had BLD bars and local food) and got the point that we needed to ascend the tower. So we did - first some stairs, then an elevator.
We reached the top. It was a rookery, of sorts - crow-men in an area decorated with every oddball shiny thing. There was a throne with a giant crow-man. It used a telepathic contact to speak to us.
Not actually the leader of the bird-men of the high tower:
Crow, as he was called, turned out to be a collector. He wanted shiny, beautiful, well-crafted stuff. All Hillbilly had was Animal Farm, but before he could bust it out LH offered his Clown Vomit camo. Crow was way, way, way into that. In no time he was providing lots of information. Long story short, the Triumvirate and the Iron Men are fighting in Boomtown over the Fountain (a nuclear reactor). He even took us out to show us the area (illustrated by our GM):
(Love Handles got in the shot)
We're in the bottom left corner. Boomtown is to the bottom right, and probably was Toledo. The Fountain is a smoking reactor. Our job? Get there and get power.
We figure we have three approaches:
- ally with one side, and help them win in return for power (the simple solution)
- get both sides to fight each other, and pick up the pieces (the Clint/Mifune/Hammett solution)
- convince both sides to work together, after sleeping with the hottest member of either or both sides (the Shatner solution)
Current plan is option 3.
- New battle cry: "We are the real monsters!" Why? Well, Crow T. Birdman told us there were whales in the lake. "Intelligent?" I asked. "No, just monsters." As if on cue, Fatbox's player and I looked at each other and I said, "We are the real monsters." In seconds, we'd made that our slogan and decided it needed a sick metal riff. Fatbox's player said he's thinking Pantera. I can see that. I was thinking "Raining Blood" by Slayer, myself. So many possibilities!
- You have to wonder why the "heroism" silver injectors cause mutant powers. They're Bunker-Tec, not random stuff we found and injected.
- Lots of heroics this time. I didn't recount them all. But Momma's Boy and his Mark 48 (aka Molly, aka Charlene, aka Mo'lene, aka Momma) did a lot of damage close-in, including point-blank fire that blew holes through beetles.
- We almost attacked the bird-men, except that it was more convenient to talk than to shoot. Had we approached on foot, I bet we'd have just killed them. Instead we gained a valuable bit of information and a potential ally of sorts. Or at least neutral party willing to trade for shiny things. It's not so much "murder is all we're good at" but more "murder is just easier than thinking of things to say."
- I'm not sure why the boobs theme. I blame Love Handles.
- I called the teleporting radiation death plants Perths. When I got home I looked it up - seems to match. Why do I know all of this? Because I basically read and re-read and played and re-played Gamma World as a 9-12 year old or so. It sticks in the recesses of the mind. Still no idea what to do besides panic and shoot, though. It doesn't reduce the fun.
- Forgot to work in Momma's Boy working in on Sharky, the shark-toothed local hot mutant woman. He bought Sex Appeal to get better at this. I blame everyone in the whole world except me for this.
- Great game overall. We got a lot done and ended earlier than usual for all of that. Also, thanks to Vic for hosting and decorating the game room with paintball gear. MVP!